Ten years ago, Telia hived off its network division into a separate company, Skanova, to separate its network ownership from the competitive part of the business. The reasoning behind the move was to avoid parting with the network business and to enable equal treatment for all to be guaranteed.
The biggest sales argument for Skanova over the years has also been that Telia operates at arm’s length and that the businesses have nothing to do with each other. It is generally acknowledged that Skanova has found it difficult to stick to its brief and in the past has favoured Telia. PTS (the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority) does not appear disturbed by Telia’s reorganisation and move into Skanova. But the market and above all those who remember Televerket (the former Swedish Telecommunications Administration) and the competitors who had to battle against the headwind called Skanova is reacting with all the greater dismay. For the dominant player to test the boundaries is quite OK, but in a market that is not functioning fully as it should, certain rules of governance must put a stop to such initiatives.
I hope that we can get a real debate going and that at ministerial level the mistakes made at deregulation are now put right. The least that needs to be done is to give PTS the tools for proper supervision so that the Authority is not just left looking on. Here in Sweden, we can have our grand broadband targets and “IT for all”, but if the basic conditions for the networks don’t exist, we can forget all that. If those who can and must decide on these issues do not understand the consequences, they are welcome to contact me and I will help to explain..
VD Telemanagement Sverige AB
Chairman, NTK (Swedish Association of Business Telecom Users)